LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Suzette Logue gets behind the lens!

We are back in performance mode this week, as we prepare for our Season Opening at the Kravis Center this weekend! First Ventures has been the perfect way to start the new season. From George Balanchine’s Serenade — the first ballet he created in America — to Christopher Wheeldon’s “edgy and electrifying Polyphonia“, as described by the Miami Herald, and Balanchine’s  joyful, virtuoso Ballo della Regina, each ballet inspires a sense of excitement and anticipation for the rest of the season. To create lasting memories and capture our final performances of Program I: First Ventures on Instagram is corps de ballet dancer Suzette Logue!

Suzette Logue

Suzette Logue

We asked Suzette what ballets she is most excited to perform this weekend. Here’s what she said!

‘Ballo Della Regina’ and ‘Serenade’ are two of my favorite ballets to perform. There is such great energy in Ballo and Serenade has a soft but commanding presence that captures you from the moment the curtain goes up!

Look for Suzette onstage this weekend!

Suzette and Adrianne Carter having a 'merde' moment before 'Serenade' backstage.

Suzette and Adrianne Carter having a ‘merde’ moment before ‘Serenade’ backstage.

For a sneak peek at the ballets we are performing this weekend, check out the following blog posts!

Catch Program I: First Ventures at the Kravis Center this weekend, Friday, November 15 – Sunday, November 17! GET TICKETS NOW!

Headshot © Gio Alma.

 

 

 

INSIGHTS: George Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina’

Legendary Balanchine ballerina Merrill Ashley discusses the ballet that made her a star! Discover what makes Ballo della Regina “sparkle” in our latest INSIGHTS video and see it at the Broward Center during Program I: First Ventures this weekend! Get your ticket now!

A special thanks to the Ballo della Regina Committee for helping Miami City Ballet make this timeless work possible!

Michele Herbert, Merrill Ashley, Jacqueline Kott, and Claudia Perles (left to right)

Michele Herbert, Merrill Ashley, Jacqueline Kott, and Claudia Perles (left to right) after the opening performance of ‘Ballo della Regina.’

Broward Center Opening on INSTAGRAM!

Anyone who attended opening night at the Arsht Center last Friday can agree that the energy and excitement was at an all-time high for the opening of our 2013-2014 Season! We can’t wait to do it all again at the Broward Center for the opening of Program I: First Ventures on October 25-27. While the PAPARAZZI will be snapping shots of our glamorous audience members on the red carpet, dancer Leigh-Ann Esty will be behind-the-scenes capturing the backstage action on opening night and throughout the weekend on Instagram. Find out why she is excited for our opening program at the Broward Center and follow her  at #LeighMCBphotos!

Leigh-Ann Esty

Leigh-Ann Esty

I’m excited for this weekends performance because there will be three different casts dancing! I can’t wait to see various people explore different roles!

GET YOUR TICKETS to Program I: First Ventures at the Broward Center to begin your journey with Miami City Ballet. If you can’t make it this weekend, join us at the Kravis Center from November 15-17 for our season opening there!

Check out some of the backstage shots caught by dancer Adrienne Carter on Instagram from our opening at the Arsht Center:

Pointe she prep before Ballo della Regina.

Pointe shoe prep before Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina.’

Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Polyphonia.

Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Wheeldon’s ‘Polyphonia.’

 

Backstage shot of Instagram.

Backstage shot of Balanchine’s ‘Serenade.’

INSIGHTS: George Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’

Why did Balanchine choreograph a girl falling to the floor in Serenade? And, why did he call this entrancing work “a dance in the moonlight?” Find out the answers to these questions and more in our new INSIGHTS video series! In our first video, corps de ballet dancers Leigh-Ann Esty and Zoe Zien divulge the secrets behind this mesmerizing and iconic ballet. Make sure to see it performed lived during Program I: First Ventures!

Catch the live performance of Serenade during  Program I: First Ventures  and begin your journey with the ballet this season!
GET TICKETS NOW!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

 

Stories from Opening Night – Ariel Rose

We are less than TWO WEEKS away from opening night of our 2013-2014 Season! Next up on our ‘Stories from Opening Night’ countdown is corps de ballet dancer Ariel Rose. Get your tickets to Program I: First Ventures before they go!

Ariel Rose

Ariel Rose

My scariest but also most memorable opening night experience was during my first lead in Alicia Alonso’s full-length ballet Coppélia with the Ballet Municipal de Lima. I just had a rushing moment of not believing that I was about to perform a three act ballet in an opera house in front of more than 1000 people. In the wings I started thinking about when I started ballet and all the difficult years of training, pushing myself and how far I had come from my beginnings in dance. My entire family, including those who live in Peru, who up to this point had never had the opportunity to see me dance, let alone dance in their  home country and in the national theater, were in the audience (they also never truly embraced my career as a professional dancer either). It was quite overwhelming! Yet, I told myself to conquer and live in the moment (as I often do when I am nervous). Seeing my Peruvian family after the show — some in tears — was so gratifying because not only did they finally see why I had been working so hard in ballet for all these years, but also because I finally felt like I had truly begun my career as a professional dancer and artist.

Ariel performing Coppelia

Ariel performing Coppelia

Opening night is special because it represents the transition from rehearsal to performance. There are virtually always little hiccups here and there, but it is very exciting for the audience because they know they are the very first people to see that specific production. It is also exciting for the dancers because after weeks and weeks of rehearsing, repeating and polishing something we’ve practiced 50+ times, we get to show it to people for the very first time. Seeing their reaction and appreciation after a performance is incredibly gratifying.

 

Create your own Opening Night story by joining us on October 18 for Program I: First Ventures , and begin your journey with the ballet this season! GET TICKETS NOW!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Headshot – Photo © Daniel Azoulay.

The Man Behind ‘Polyphonia’

A very important guest is paying MCB a visit! He happens to be the artistic genius behind one of the ballets that is making its company premiere during Program I: First Ventures.  You guessed it! The mastermind behind Polyphonia – Christopher Wheeldon!

Christopher Wheeldon via timeout.com

Christopher Wheeldon via timeout.com

Polyphonia was Christopher Wheeldon’s first ballet that he choreographed after retiring from a successful dance career with New York City Ballet to become the company’s first-ever Artist in Residence. Keeping in line with our theme of “firsts” for First VenturesPolyphonia was also Wheeldon’s first breakthrough work, propelling him into the choreographic spotlight. Wheeldon has now choreographed countless ballets for companies across the country and around the world, including The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, New York City Ballet and several others. He also co-founded the New York-based dance company Morphoses with our very own Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez  in 2007. Currently he is the Artistic Associate at The Royal Ballet. Critics have deemed Wheeldon as one of the principle, 21st century choreographers actively defining the future of ballet — and we CAN’T WAIT to see what that looks like!

While only time will tell what the future of ballet looks like, we are so fortunate to have Wheeldon here for two days to work with our dancers and witness this progression take place. Capturing it all on Instagram is Rebecca King!

Rebecca King

Rebecca King

We asked Rebecca to share her excitement about having Wheeldon in our studios to work on Polyphonia and here is what she had to say:

Having Christopher Wheeldon in studio with us this week is an absolute honor.  We began rehearsing ‘Polyphonia’ in August and have been working on it regularly since.  Now that we are so familiar with the steps and the music, it will be an amazing and special experience to have the ballet’s creator come in to coach us.  We will be able to hear about the intentions of the steps and the purpose of the work as a whole, which will bring a very special perspective to Miami City Ballet’s interpretation of ‘Polyphonia.’  We can’t wait to see what is in store for us! Stay tuned for sneak peaks into the rehearsal process.

See Rebecca and the rest of the company perform this milestone work during Program I: First Ventures! Get your tickets now!

Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Headshot © Rebecca King.

Discover ‘First Ventures’ with Lourdes Lopez

Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez shares the meaning behind First Ventures and why the first program of our 2013-2014 Season is not to be missed!

Begin your journey with Miami City Ballet by joining us for Program I: First Ventures!

Adrienne Arsht Center: Oct. 18-20
Broward Center: Oct. 25-27
Kravis Center: Nov. 15-17

Passing It On

Legendary Balanchine ballerina, Merrill Ashley, recently visited Miami City Ballet to teach our dancers the ballet that propelled her into stardom.  For 10 days, she worked with the company on Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina – a work that he created on Ms. Ashley, herself. Principal dancer Tricia Albertson trained intensely with Merrill Ashely during her visit and shares her experience working with this Balanchine great here on our Blog!

Tricia Albertson

Merrill Ashley was the most virtuosic, technically precise ballerina of her time, if not ever.  George Balanchine was inspired to choreograph Ballo della Regina on Merrill, and created steps to highlight her strengths: precise, razor sharp, lightning-fast footwork, musicality, and hops on pointe.  Merrill was not an amazing technician by chance; she worked and analyzed every moment and every step to become that dancer.  To have Ballo della Regina passed on to me by Merrill Ashley has been both an amazing and frightening highlight of my career.

Merrill Ashley in Ballo della Regina.

Merrill Ashley in Ballo della Regina.

Merrill pushed herself to the limit as a dancer and asked that of all of us.  Working with her, I did not just learn the steps of Ballo della Regina, I learned precisely how to approach each step to make it sparkle.  Now, the challenge is to get myself to actually do it!  Merrill doesn’t let anyone cut a single corner, and being the perfectionist that I am, I was grateful to be pushed beyond what I thought my body could do (though, I will admit that I did get frustrated. I tend to want to get things right immediately, and that simply wasn’t possible).

Merrill Ashley coaches principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renato Penteado.

Merrill Ashley coaches principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renato Penteado.

Ballo is Merrill’s.  She loves this ballet, takes pride in this ballet, and has passed that pride down to us.  In a rehearsal, Merrill said that Ballo was a diamond of a ballet, but without the details and precision, it doesn’t sparkle. Those details make it brilliant.  Now that she has left (until she returns on opening night), I will have time to process and work on what she taught me and also to make it my own.  Perhaps there is no one that can make Ballo della Regina shine as Merrill did, but I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to try.

See Tricia Albertson perform this special role during Program I: First Ventures!

Adrienne Arsht Center: Oct. 18-20

Broward Center: Oct. 25-27

Kravis Center: Nov. 15-17

Photo credits:
Headshot © Gio Alma.
Merrill Ashley in Ballo della Regina. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Martha Swope.

‘Polyphonia’ from Behind the Lens

It’s another Monday at Miami City Ballet and we are kicking off the week with the arrival of Répétiteur Jason Fowler, who will be teaching the company Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia. Corps de ballet dancer Zoe Zien will bring you inside our studios as she takes over our Instagram feed during the 7-day rehearsal process.  Follow her #ZoeMCBphotos as she documents the company’s journey to the premiere of Polyphonia during Program I: First Ventures.

Zoe Zien

Polyphonia is considered Christopher Wheeldon’s breakthrough contemporary work.  After his hauntingly beautiful Liturgy pas de deux, Polyphonia will be the second Wheeldon work that MCB adds to its repetoire. The ballet adds six more dancers to the stage, who dance together as a group as the work opens, then transitions into a series of duets and solos that evoke distinct character and flair — we can’t wait to see how our dancers incorporate their unique personalities into the choreography! Here to teach it all is one of the original cast members from the 2001 New York City Ballet world premiere — Jason Fowler. Jason will help the dancers match their movement to the intense piano music of György Ligeti, and ensure that no choreographic detail is lost in preparation for our 2013-2014 Season opening in October, when the ballet premieres during Program I: First Ventures.

Dancers Emily Bromberg and Chase Swatosh.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we reveal interesting facts about Polyphonia during the rehearsal process. Watch the dancers in action as Zoe captures Polyphonia and daily MCB life on Instagram!

Check out our latest Pinterest board for a visual journey through Polyphonia.

Flexible subscription packages and single tickets to Polyphonia are on sale now as part of Program I: First Ventures.
Photo credits:
Headshot © Gio Alma.
Miami City Ballet dancers Emily Bromberg and Chase Swatosh in Polyphonia. Photo © Gio Alma.